Are You Looking for Assistance with the California Relief Grant?

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$500 Million for New COVID California Relief Grants for Small Business

The Governor announced the creation of a $500 million COVID California Relief Grant for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions. Funds would be awarded in amounts up to $25,000 to underserved micro- and small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Nonprofit organizations are eligible for these grants.
Lendistry is the state-contracted administrator of the program, which is funded by the State of California through the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. And, as a partner in the process, the San Diego & Imperial Valley SBDC (Small Business Development Center) Network is here to help and support small business owners throughout the process.

Lendistry is available at: 888-612-4370 or careliefgrant@lendistry.com

The amount of grant funding ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. Businesses are eligible based on their annual revenue as documented in their most recent tax return:

ELIGIBLE BUSINESS GROSS REVENUE GRANT AWARD AVAILABLE PER BUSINESS
Annual gross revenue $1,000 to $100,000 $5,000 grant
Annual gross revenue greater than $100 ,000 up to $1,000,000 $15,000 grant
Annual gross revenue greater than $1,000,000 up to $2,500,000 $25,000 grant

Eligible businesses must have a physical address and operate in California. A small business or small nonprofit must satisfy the following criteria to be eligible to receive a grant award:

  • Must meet the definition of an “eligible small business” (see Definitions and
    Other Information)
  • Active businesses or nonprofits operating since at least June 1, 2019
    • Businesses must currently be operating or have a clear plan to re-open once the State of California permits re-opening of the business
  • Business must be impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions such as business interruptions or business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Business must be able to provide organizing documents including 2018 or 2019 tax returns or Form 990s, copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality for the business such as one of the following: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration or Government-Issued Business License
  • Business must be able to provide acceptable form of government-issued photo ID
  • Applicants with multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue.

Ineligible Businesses

  • Businesses without a physical location in California
  • Nonprofit businesses not registered as either a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6)
  • Government entities (other than Native American tribes) or elected official offices
  • Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6))
  • Passive businesses, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns
  • Churches and other religious institutions (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6))
  • Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies and factoring companies
  • Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state or local law
  • Businesses of a prurient sexual nature, including businesses which present live performances of a prurient sexual nature and businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature
  • Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature such as rent-to-own businesses and check cashing businesses
  • Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity
  • Speculative businesses
  • Businesses of which any owner of greater than 10% of the equity interest in it (i) has within the prior three-years been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against such owner, or has had commenced any form of parole or probation (including probation before judgment), for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (federal, state or local) transaction or contract under a public transaction; violation of federal or state anti-trust or procurement statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property, or (ii) is presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a government entity, (federal, state or local) with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in subparagraph (i) above
  • “Affiliated” companies (as such term is defined in 13 C.F.R. § 121.103)
  • Multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue

Grant Recipients will be Determined Based on:

  1. Businesses located in areas impacted the most by the effects of COVID-19, based on COVID health and safety restrictions following California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, local county status, and Regional Stay At Home orders available at: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
  2. Businesses impacted the most financially based on gross revenue losses
  3. Certain impacted industries including retail, food and hospitality, health and wellness, and personal care (beauty/nail salons, spas, and barbershops).
  4. “Underserved small business groups” meaning (I) women-owned, Minority/Person of Color-Owned, or veteran-owned businesses where at least 51% of the business is owned and run on a daily basis by said group(s), and (II) businesses located in Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) and Rural communities.
    • “Minority/Person of Color-Owned Small Business” means the following racial or ethnic groups (as identified by the applicant): African-American/Black, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or LatinX/Hispanic.
    • “Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI)” means any census tract (or equivalent geographic area defined by the Bureau of the Census) in which at least 50% of households have an income less than 60 percent of the Area Median Gross Income (AMGI), or which has a poverty rate of at least 25%.
    • “Rural areas” means all territory, populations, and housing units that are located outside of urban areas (50,000 or more people) and urban clusters (at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people). Urban areas and clusters are determined by population density and size available per the most recently updated data available from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 5-year estimates thirty days prior to the first day of the applicable application period.
Grant Info
How to Apply
Round 1 Info
Round 2 Info
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How to Apply for the California Relief Grant

The California SBDC network is your committed business partner, and we’re standing by to help you apply for this grant opportunity. We’ll help you prepare for the application and ensure you have all the needed documentation to be successful in the process.

To assist you in applying for this grant we have:

  1. On demand training available immediatly in multiple langauges with step-by-step instructions on completing the application
  2. Live webinars to share updates on the application process and any new information from Lendistry as well as answer your questions
  3. Live open office hours that you can join every day of the week and speak directly with an advisor to get assistance with your application immediatly (no more waiting by your phone for a call back!)
  4. One-on-one appointments with advisors to support needs that cannot be addressed during office hours

Applications will be accepted for Round 2 of the California Relief Grant from Feb. 2 at 8 a.m. to Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. For detailed instructions on how to apply, see the Round 2 section below.

Round 2 Applications

The application period for Round 2 opens on Feb. 2 at 8 a.m. and closes on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. (PST). See details below on how to apply and how to connect with SBDC advisors providing real-time support for all your application needs.

If you applied and met the eligibility criteria in Round 1 but were not selected for funding or were put on the waitlist, your application is automaticaly moved to Round 2. Do not reapply.

  1. Watch the on-demand training for step-by-step guidance on how to apply:
  2. Review the application guide provided by Lendistry: https://bit.ly/3t2uO5Q 
  3. Review Frequently Asked Questions: https://careliefgrant.com/faq/
  4. Download Google Chrome (this is the only browser that will run the Lendistry portal without problems)
  5. Clear your browser cache (learn how to clear your cache)
  6. Allow popups in Google Chrome – there’s a required popup in the application so this is mandatory or you’ll not be able to apply (learn how to turn off your popup blocker)
  7. Use incognito mode in your Google Chrome browser (learn how to use incognito mode)
  8. Close all browsers and tabs except the Lendistry portal

As part of your application for the CA Relief Grant you will need to submit some documentation.  Please gather this list of documents and save them as PDF files to the desktop of your computer for easy access:

  1. Business Financial Information: acceptable documents are your most recent tax returns (2019 or 2018)
    You will have to upload all pages of your tax return.
  2. Application Certification: https://bit.ly/3cjBBCu
    Download and complete the document. You will need to uploaded it when you submit your application.
  3. Government Issued Photo ID
    Such as your driver’s license or passport.
  4. Proof of In Business; official filing with the California Secretary of State or local municipality such as:
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Certificate of Organization
    • Fictitious Name of Registration
    • Government issues business license

Quick Tips:

  • Save your files to your desktop for easy access
  • Save documents as PDF files if at all possible (alternatively the system will take JPEG files but it is more complicated)

Reminder: If you applied and meet the eligibility criteria in Round 1 but were not selected for funding or were put on the waitlist, your application will be automatically moved to Round 2 for consideration. Do not reapply in Round 2. Reapplying will cause duplicate applications in the Lendistry system and will automatically trigger your application for compliance review severely delaying your application in the selection process.

Apply Online
https://sdivsbdc.mylendistry.com/#/grant

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Only apply once! Duplicate applications will trigger and automatic compliace review and delay your application in the process
  2. Owners of multiple businesses, franchises, locations, etc. will be considered for only one grant and are required to apply for the business with the highest revenue
  3. Download Google Chrome (this is the only browser that will run the Lendistry portal without problems)
  4. Clear your browser cache (learn how to clear your cache)
  5. Allow popups in Google Chrome – there’s a required popup in the application so this is mandatory or you’ll not be able to apply (learn how to turn off your popup blocker)
  6. Use incognito mode in your Google Chrome browser (learn how to use incognito mode)
  7. Close all browsers and tabs except the Lendistry portal
  8. Technical difficulties with the portal? Contact Lendistry: 888-612-4370 or careliefgrant@lendistry.com

California Relief Grant Application Webinars

We’ve developed on-demand webinars in multiple languages to walk our clients though the California Relief Grant application process step by step. These webinars show you the application and what to complete in each section. The webinars also give you tips and tricks to successfully complete the application.

Please select your preferred language below!

California Relief Grant – FOR NONPROFITS: How to Apply
The California Relief Grant is also for nonprofit organizations. Please join the San Diego Foundation and the
San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network to learn what nonprofits need to do to apply.
Please note this webinar is specifically for nonprofit organizations.

Recorded Webinar

Live Office Hours with Advisors

We’re offering live office hours with advisors waiting to answer your specific questions about your application every day. Select one below to register and join immediately!

Tues, Feb. 2nd

Wed, Feb. 3rd

Thurs, Feb. 4th

Fri, Feb. 5th

  • Tues, Feb. 2; 3pm – 4pm: https://sdsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/14077
  • Fri, Feb. 5; 9am – 10am: https://sdsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/14118

Round 1 Application Information

Round 1 closed Jan. 14. Lendistry is currently notifying applicants of the status of their applications. Please check your email inbox as well as spam and promotions folders for email from @lendistry.com.

Applicants selected to receive the grant were notified Jan. 22. Please check your email inbox, promotions and spam folders for email arriving from @lendistry.com. 

What’s Next:

  • Receive notification from Lendistry
  • Follow instructions in the email notification from Lendistry to complete the certification process
  • Disbursements of Funds:
    • Funds will always be disbursed from Lendistry on a Friday
    • Lendistry notes that recipients will receive funds in their accounts within 5 days of disbursement
    • Funds transfers are made only via ACH

Applicants that were put on the waitlist for Round 1 were notified Jan. 25. Please check your email inbox, promotions, and spam folders for email arriving from @lendistry.com. 

What’s Next:

  • Receive waitlist notification from Lendistry
  • If additional funding is available in Round 1 because (a) selected applicants do not pass the certification process or (b) selected applicants decline the funding, waitlisted applicants will be notified they have been selected for funding
  • If waitlisted applicants do not get selected for funding in Round 1, their application will automatically be moved to Round 2 for consideration
  • Waitlisted applicants should not apply for Round 2; this will cause duplicate applications in the system and all duplicate applications are automatically pushed through the compliance process which causes considerable delays

Applicants who have not yet received an notification via email from @lendistry.com should:

  • Check your email inbox for any email coming from @lendistry.com
  • Check your email promotions folder for any email from @lendistry.com
  • Check your email spam folder for any email from @lendistry.com

Have you checked all of the above and still have no notifications from Lendistry?
Your application was sent to the compliance review process. The most common reason for an application to be put through the compliance review process is duplicate applications. Lendistry is manually reviewing duplicates applications and will be notifying all applicants that went through the compliance review process of the status of their application Jan. 28-30. 

Whats Next?

  • Keep an eye on your email and text messages for notifications from Lendistry
  • If selected for funding after the compliance review process, see next steps under “selected for funding” above
  • If waitlisted after the compliance review process, see next steps under “waitlisted applicants”

Important Notes:

  • If you are waitlisted, do not reapply in Round 2; this will cause a duplicate application in the system and your application will be subject to compliance review again in Round 2
  • If you are not funded your application will be automatically moved to consideration in Round 2

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